what's the obessions with Visio?

5 Apr 2006 - 11:08am
8 years ago
10 replies
867 reads
Pashmina
2006

I'm quite curious about everyone's general feelings about Visio. I see so
many job descriptions where Visio is a required software skill for IA or
IxD's and I just don't get it! What is the obsession with Microsoft
Visio?Who set
that as a standard? When did it become a standard?

Personally, I can't stand Visio, and I won't to use it to mock up wireframes
or process flows. I find that powerpoint can be very useful because you can
send those to anyone. And I particularly like using Flash to make mocks,
because both the designer and coders are happy with Flash too. Designers
can add a layer to my frames and start putting in graphics and interface
elements. The coders can use the pixel guides to break it down into CSS.

Visio in the hands of a somewhat decent IA, but with really horrible
awareness for interaction design, can just become a nightmare.

Anyway, I don't understand how a field so new, could have job req that limit
the types of tools we use in our practice.

pashmina

Comments

5 Apr 2006 - 2:15pm
cfmdesigns
2004

>From: Pashmina <pashmina at gmail.com>
>
>I'm quite curious about everyone's general feelings about Visio. I see so
>many job descriptions where Visio is a required software skill for IA or
>IxD's and I just don't get it! What is the obsession with Microsoft
>Visio? Who set that as a standard? When did it become a standard?

It's from Microsoft. Doesn't that automatically make it a standard? And something that everyone has right at hand? And the best product for the job?

(Hey, can Visio help remove this impacted tongue from my cheek?)

-- Jim Drew
Seattle, WA

5 Apr 2006 - 2:20pm
Ari
2006

On 4/5/06, Pashmina <pashmina at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
>
> I'm quite curious about everyone's general feelings about Visio. I see so
> many job descriptions where Visio is a required software skill for IA or
> IxD's and I just don't get it! What is the obsession with Microsoft
> Visio?Who set
> that as a standard? When did it become a standard?

5-6 years ago BEFORE it was a Microsoft product.

Personally, I can't stand Visio, and I won't to use it to mock up wireframes
> or process flows. I find that powerpoint can be very useful because you
> can
> send those to anyone. And I particularly like using Flash to make mocks,
> because both the designer and coders are happy with Flash too. Designers
> can add a layer to my frames and start putting in graphics and interface
> elements. The coders can use the pixel guides to break it down into CSS.

Everyone has their tastes and preferences. Work with what you know, trust,
like and produces results for you.

Visio in the hands of a somewhat decent IA, but with really horrible
> awareness for interaction design, can just become a nightmare.

Any tool can be used or misused by someone. Visio doesn't make bad
wireframes per se just like guns don't kill people.

Anyway, I don't understand how a field so new, could have job req that limit
> the types of tools we use in our practice.

i didn't even know there was a field called interaction design. IA yes, UI
sure but interaction design? when was i napping?

5 Apr 2006 - 4:01pm
ldebett
2004

Personally, I avoid Visio like the plague. ;-) Luckily, that's easy for me
because I'm on a Mac and I get to use Omnigraffle.

In job descriptions, I'd just take that Visio listing with a grain of salt
because I think it's the flowcharting skill that's required more than the
tool. I wouldn't assume that it's any standard in our discipline of any kind
(but it's always good to ask the company who's listed it if it's actually a
part of their workflow). It's not unusual for us to interview candidates
who, for example, say they more enjoy using Freehand than Illustrator while
the job description may say "must know Illustrator". It's the knowing how to
use a vector-based graphics creation tool that we're interested in, not that
we can quiz them on what the keyboard shortcut is for merging layers. Same
for flowcharting. As long as your tool can output a file that I can use,
have at it. In our case, powerpoint or flash doesn't allow for unspokens -
the specs that describe state and decision conditions, or time out
durations. We need to write those down in a flow chart so we use all of the
above.

On 4/5/06, Pashmina <pashmina at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > I'm quite curious about everyone's general feelings about Visio. I see
> so
> > many job descriptions where Visio is a required software skill for IA or
> > IxD's and I just don't get it! What is the obsession with Microsoft
> > Visio?Who set that as a standard? When did it become a standard?

On 4/5/06, Ari <ari1970 at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> i didn't even know there was a field called interaction design. IA yes, UI
> sure but interaction design? when was i napping?

I'd say the Interaction Design Association discussion list that you're
reading right now is a good indication...

~Lisa

5 Apr 2006 - 5:47pm
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

> Personally, I avoid Visio like the plague. ;-) Luckily, that's easy for me
> because I'm on a Mac and I get to use Omnigraffle.

You're so lucky. I love OmniGraffle. I use it all the time at home. But I
still get to avoid Visio because I use Axure at work, which I must admit, I
almost like more than Graffle.

But yeah, Visio is awful. Man, what I wouldn't give for the chance to
redesign it from scratch.

-r-

5 Apr 2006 - 5:51pm
Mischke, Ali
2005

Sounds like I'm in the minority here, but I use Visio a lot. Yes, it
works for flow charting, but the Professional Edition is invaluable for
wireframing forms-based UIs. The built-in controls make a lot of things
a lot easier.

-A

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
Sent: Wednesday, April 05, 2006 7:48 PM
To: Lisa deBettencourt
Cc: discuss at ixda.org
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] what's the obessions with Visio?

[Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
material.]

> Personally, I avoid Visio like the plague. ;-) Luckily, that's easy
for me
> because I'm on a Mac and I get to use Omnigraffle.

You're so lucky. I love OmniGraffle. I use it all the time at home. But
I
still get to avoid Visio because I use Axure at work, which I must
admit, I
almost like more than Graffle.

But yeah, Visio is awful. Man, what I wouldn't give for the chance to
redesign it from scratch.

-r-
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5 Apr 2006 - 6:09pm
bhekking
2006

Dunno if it's been mentioned, but SmartDraw is another good digramming tool -
I'm just evaluating it now. I've tried hard to like Visio, but unless you're
prototyping windows form UI's (which, to Ali's point, is easy w/Visio), it's
quite cumbersome - I particularly dislike its over-reliance on context menus
and clunky printing/sizing aspects. Personally, I'm using whiteboard, sketches,
and Powerpoint more and more these days for conceptual design in particular.

Bret Hekking

--- "Mischke, Ali" <Ali.Mischke at ironmountain.com> wrote:

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> Sounds like I'm in the minority here, but I use Visio a lot. Yes, it
> works for flow charting, but the Professional Edition is invaluable for
> wireframing forms-based UIs. The built-in controls make a lot of things
> a lot easier.
>
> -A
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
> [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
> Robert Hoekman, Jr.
> Sent: Wednesday, April 05, 2006 7:48 PM
> To: Lisa deBettencourt
> Cc: discuss at ixda.org
> Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] what's the obessions with Visio?
>
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
>
> > Personally, I avoid Visio like the plague. ;-) Luckily, that's easy
> for me
> > because I'm on a Mac and I get to use Omnigraffle.
>
>
> You're so lucky. I love OmniGraffle. I use it all the time at home. But
> I
> still get to avoid Visio because I use Axure at work, which I must
> admit, I
> almost like more than Graffle.
>
> But yeah, Visio is awful. Man, what I wouldn't give for the chance to
> redesign it from scratch.
>
> -r-
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
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5 Apr 2006 - 8:19pm
Cindy Lu
2006

Interesting comment. I have used Visio for many years and I like it a lot. I can turn around concept designs very quickly - for IA, interaction designs, workflows and sysem structure. I don't need to make things moving like in flash, just to illustrate design concepts. I used PowerPoint, hand drawings, Excel and Illustrator but Visio is still my first choice.

I think it really depends on the level of prototyping and what you will use the prototype for to select a suitabe tool. To me, quick prototypes using Visio are good enough to illustrate early concepts, demonstrate the concepts to certain tyes of clients, do paper prototype testing, walk through/evaluate the designs, explain the concepts to the development team and create design specifications. They don't look perfect and fancy but good enough to move the project forward.

I don't think employers care whether you can use Visio or not. I think they care whether you can prototype or not.

- Cindy

> I'm quite curious about everyone's general feelings about Visio. I see so
> many job descriptions where Visio is a required software skill for IA or
> IxD's and I just don't get it! What is the obsession with Microsoft
> Visio?Who set
> that as a standard? When did it become a standard?
>
> Personally, I can't stand Visio, and I won't to use it to mock up wireframes
> or process flows. I find that powerpoint can be very useful because you can
> send those to anyone. And I particularly like using Flash to make mocks,
> because both the designer and coders are happy with Flash too.  Designers
> can add a layer to my frames and start putting in graphics and interface
> elements. The coders can use the pixel guides to break it down into CSS.
>
> Visio in the hands of a somewhat decent IA, but with really horrible
> awareness for interaction design, can just become a nightmare.
>
> Anyway, I don't understand how a field so new, could have job req that limit
> the types of tools we use in our practice.
>
> pashmina

6 Apr 2006 - 9:59am
Andrei Sedelnikov
2004

How about Sparkle? Did anyone already try to use it for Prototyping?

regards,
Andrej Sedelnikov
usabilist.de

On 4/5/06, Pashmina <pashmina at gmail.com> wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> I'm quite curious about everyone's general feelings about Visio. I see so
> many job descriptions where Visio is a required software skill for IA or
> IxD's and I just don't get it! What is the obsession with Microsoft
> Visio?Who set
> that as a standard? When did it become a standard?
>
> Personally, I can't stand Visio, and I won't to use it to mock up wireframes
> or process flows. I find that powerpoint can be very useful because you can
> send those to anyone. And I particularly like using Flash to make mocks,
> because both the designer and coders are happy with Flash too. Designers
> can add a layer to my frames and start putting in graphics and interface
> elements. The coders can use the pixel guides to break it down into CSS.
>
> Visio in the hands of a somewhat decent IA, but with really horrible
> awareness for interaction design, can just become a nightmare.
>
> Anyway, I don't understand how a field so new, could have job req that limit
> the types of tools we use in our practice.
>
> pashmina
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
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> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

--
Andrei Sedelnikov
http://usabilist.de/

6 Apr 2006 - 1:28pm
Juan Lanus
2005

On 4/5/06, Robert Hoekman, Jr. <mmbeta at gmail.com> wrote:
> Visio ... Man, what I wouldn't give for the chance to redesign it from scratch.

Maybe you can have a chance to do so if you get involved in the
development of Openoffice Draw ... or Inkscape (an SVG editor).
After success you'd be able to use the same tool no matter whay
platform you are on: Mac, Windows, Linux, ...
--
Juan Lanus
TECNOSOL
Argentina

6 Apr 2006 - 1:45pm
Nasir Barday5
2006

I've been a big fan of Sparkle's concept, but haven't been able to use
it to model very detailed interactions. At this point, it feels like a
glorified IDE for Avalon. Sure, you can do a lot visually, but if you
want to make your prototype interactive and dynamic, you have to start
asking dangerous questions like "how long will that take me to code
up?" and "what's the name of the object they use for that?"-- exactly
the engineer-land thoughts you don't want to spend time on when
expressing the ideas in your head.

So for now, Expression Interactive Designer is not up fully up to
snuff for our needs as IxDs yet. But it's still in development, and
from reading their forums, they're working to abstract away lots of
things you currently have to do in code. It's getting there :-).

- Nasir

On 4/6/06, Andrei Sedelnikov <usabilist at gmail.com> wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> How about Sparkle? Did anyone already try to use it for Prototyping?
>
> regards,
> Andrej Sedelnikov
> usabilist.de
>
> On 4/5/06, Pashmina <pashmina at gmail.com> wrote:
> > [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
> >
> > I'm quite curious about everyone's general feelings about Visio. I see so
> > many job descriptions where Visio is a required software skill for IA or
> > IxD's and I just don't get it! What is the obsession with Microsoft
> > Visio?Who set
> > that as a standard? When did it become a standard?
> >
> > Personally, I can't stand Visio, and I won't to use it to mock up wireframes
> > or process flows. I find that powerpoint can be very useful because you can
> > send those to anyone. And I particularly like using Flash to make mocks,
> > because both the designer and coders are happy with Flash too. Designers
> > can add a layer to my frames and start putting in graphics and interface
> > elements. The coders can use the pixel guides to break it down into CSS.
> >
> > Visio in the hands of a somewhat decent IA, but with really horrible
> > awareness for interaction design, can just become a nightmare.
> >
> > Anyway, I don't understand how a field so new, could have job req that limit
> > the types of tools we use in our practice.
> >
> > pashmina
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> > List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> > (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> > Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> > Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> > Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> > Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
> >
>
>
> --
> Andrei Sedelnikov
> http://usabilist.de/
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
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> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

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